Short Term Rental Regulation Targeting Platforms Advances

first_imgA proposal that would hold home sharing platforms like Airbnb responsible for listing units not registered with the city moved one step closer to approval on Thursday when it secured a recommendation from a Board of Supervisors committee.“This is not about changing the existing law. It’s simply about making sure that this law that has been in effect, that this law is actually enforced,” said Supervisor David Campos, one of the co-sponsors of the legislation. “It’s ultimately about corporate responsibility.”Under a city law that went into effect in February 2015, residents renting their spare rooms through a home sharing platform like Airbnb must get a business license and registration number from the city, as well as pay hotel taxes.Those hosts can face serious fines if the new Office of Short Term Rentals — a city enforcement body for homesharing — finds hosts who have not registered or are renting out a non-primary residence. More than 75 percent of short term rentals in the city unregistered with the city, according to estimates from a Budget and Legislative Analyst’s report. Tags: Airbnb • housing • rent Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The proposed legislation would fine home sharing platforms $1,000 a day per noncompliant listing, requiring companies like Airbnb to confirm the host’s registration number before allowing them to post a rental.Critics of the existing law have said that it is unenforceable without a means for the city to know which units are being rented out on platforms like Airbnb, and say the penalty system shifts the enforcement burden from the city onto the home sharing platforms.“The main thing this legislation does is hold platforms themselves accountable for registration, in the same way that Hertz is responsible for making sure that the cars it rents out are registered with the DMV,” said Charlie Goss of the San Francisco Apartment Association, a group that represents rental property owners.But opponents of the new proposal said they worried it would put Airbnb and other platforms in an untenable position of having to police their own users, a responsibility that lies with local government. Some say that also opens the city up to lawsuits from platforms claiming that the city is trying to make them regulate user-produced content.Jim Lazarus of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce likened the proposal to restricting newspapers by requiring them to verify a company’s business license before accepting advertising.“What you’ve heard today is a failure of enforcement by the city and that should not be put on the backs of independent companies that are located here and throughout the world.”Making platforms specifically responsible for checking registrations was a recommendation of the Planning Commission when earlier legislation was being considered. Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards reiterated his support at Thursday’s board meeting.“I drive around in my car with a license plate on it. It doesn’t tell people who I am or where I live,” said Richards. “Could you imagine if 75 percent of people didn’t drive around with license plates? It wouldn’t make any sense.”Despite being aimed at platforms, not hosts, some said it created another obstacle for hosts trying to rent out their homes for extra income.“Don’t just drop the hammer on people who are struggling to get registered,” said Laura Clark, president of pro-development group Grow SF. “This legislation doesn’t really solve that problem, this just adds another hammer to the problem.”For individual homesharers, the primary concern on Thursday was a prohibitively cumbersome registration process, especially with the new requirement from the city that hosts turn in a list of all of the furniture and equipment in a rental unit, their value, and when they were acquired, for tax purposes. “It’s also known that the process is very cumbersome. It takes up to three months or more to get registered,” said Doug Nielsen, a registered host. “The city must find a way to simplify this process.”None of the hosts who commented on the legislation at the hearing said they were unregistered.Alix Rosenthal, a vice chair of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, agreed that commercial landlords using the platforms are a problem. Rosenthal herself is an Airbnb host — and a recipient of $2,500 in re-election campaign contributions from the company, and also raised concerns over the registration process.“It was relatively onerous,” she said. “My experience is fairly common. Folks aren’t going to go through this process unless they’ve tried it. Requiring registration from day one will likely kill [short term rentals].” Supervisors on the committee decided to recommend the legislation, however, citing concerns that hosts take rental housing off the long-term market and offer it up to the more lucrative short-term rental market, worsening the city’s housing crisis. The full Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the law on June 7. center_img 0%last_img read more

SENIOR management and coaching staff from the Sain

first_imgSENIOR management and coaching staff from the Saints visited their main sponsors Ty-phoo Tea Ltd recently.Acting Head Coach Mike Rush, Head of Sales and Marketing Dave Hutchinson and Chairman Eamonn McManus visited Moreton, the home of Typhoo to see how tea is made and to sample different teas in the tea tasting laboratory.Wirral’s iconic Ty-phoo brand is St Helens’ main shirt sponsors for 2012 and 2013 seasons.Typhoo’s Chief Executive Officer Keith Packer said: “It is amazing just how much tea is drunk at the club, the coaching staff and many of the players love tea and drink several cups a day, let’s hope that the team continue to get their OO’s and finish the season on a high.”St.Helens Chairman, Eamonn McManus, added: “We have enjoyed a fantastic partnership to date with Ty-phoo, one of the few leading FMCG brands in Super League. I am sure the relationship will continue to go from strength to strength as the season reaches boiling point.”The picture shows – left to right – Mike Rush, St. Helens R.F.C. Acting Head Coach; Dave Hutchinson, St. Helens R.F.C. Head of Sales and Marketing; Chris Hall, Ty-phoo Head of Marketing; Eammon McManus, St. Helens R.F.C Chairman; Keith Packer, Ty-phoo Chief Executive Officer.last_img read more

AUSTRALIA coach Tim Sheens says he is relishing th

first_imgAUSTRALIA coach Tim Sheens says he is relishing the prospect of a big atmosphere for his side’s matches at Rugby League World Cup 2013.The Kangaroos face England at the Millennium Stadium on October 26, Fiji at Langtree Park on November 2 and Ireland at Thomond Park, Limerick, on November 9.And there is also the prospect of a semi-final showdown in London as part of The Big Hit double-header at Wembley Stadium on November 23, which Sheens’ men are heavily tipped to reach.“I thought we had good support when we played at Wembley a couple of years ago and I hope we can count on the Australian people living London again at RLWC2013,” said Sheens.“I think there’ll be a good support for Australia, and for the game in general, and I hope we can build on the atmosphere we created at Wembley in 2011.“The boys are really looking forward to getting back to Wembley and hopefully we’ll get a crowd down there.”The Big Hit double-header of semi-finals was launched earlier this month with the help of former London Broncos star Martin Offiah and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.Meanwhile, Australia’s clash with Fiji earlier in the tournament is likely to pit the Kangaroos players against former team-mate Petero Civoniceva for the the first time, following the legendary green and golds star’s decision to switch international allegiances to the nation of his birth.“Fiji’s squad will largely be based around which players Australia and New Zealand pick and don’t pick, though Petero Civoniceva will lead them,” said Sheens.“He’s come out of retirement and is playing at a high level in the Brisbane competition, and he’ll keep himself enough to lead his country with distinction.“There are other big names who could be available for Fiji, again, depending on who is selected for Australia and New Zealand, and they could be an interesting prospect.”To buy tickets for the match on November 2 at Langtree park, log on here.last_img read more

LUKE Thompson has continued his successful week af

first_imgLUKE Thompson has continued his successful week after he was named in England Academy’s 20-man squad to face France.After making his debut on his 18th birthday for the first team, he has been selected for the upcoming international inEngland Academy coach Dave Elliott has named in La Reoule, France, on Saturday May 25.“This game is vital for the development of the players,” said Head Coach Dave Elliott. “I think we’ve seen over the past 12 months how important this type of fixture is for them and the challenges that come from playing France, in France, are massive for the whole group.“We found out in Australia last year that travel, food and different cultures posed difficulties for some of the lads and this type of game against France exposes them to that as well. It’s a learning experience for everyone and introduces the players to what they will experience in the senior environment in Super League and internationally.“On the pitch we know France will be strong and very physical. France have openly said that this is their best age group and the majority of their players are coming through some good systems at Catalan Dragons so it will be a big test.“But I think the squad of players we have are strong both mentally and physically and they have a lot of experience between them. I’m confident they can use that experience and their skills to get a good result over there.”last_img read more

LOUIE McCarthyScarsbrook is hoping Saints can pro

first_imgLOUIE McCarthy-Scarsbrook is hoping Saints can prove the doubters wrong when they face Wigan in the Grand Final on Saturday.Written off by all but those within the camp and Club, his side lie 80 minutes away from the biggest prize of all.“It’s fantastic we have made it to the main stage,” he said. “It is an achievement for the club. We will be playing against our arch nemesis and it can’t get much bigger than that.“We have finished first and ground it out like the class team we are. We have kept our heads down and kept on playing… and now we are on the main stage after a lot of people have written us off.“In the play-offs we have been outstanding as a squad, scored a lot of points and shut out two good teams. We have played attractive football and hopefully that will continue on Saturday.”Louie and Saints face familiar foes at Old Trafford.It will be the third time the club has taken on the Warriors this season and ‘LMS’ will be up against fellow Londoners Dan Sarginson and Tony Clubb too.“It’s first v second so you know two good teams have made it to the final,” he added. “We’ve both played well, had a few blips and also ground out a game or two when we’ve needed to.“It will be a momentous occasion when both teams take to the field. I’m looking forward to playing against Dan and Tony and I hope they thrive… but not too much.”Tickets for Saturday’s Grand Final against Wigan (6pm) remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park or by calling 01744 455 052.last_img read more

SAINTS have named their 19man squad for Fridays

first_imgSAINTS have named their 19-man squad for Friday’s First Utility Super League clash at Hull KR.James Roby, Matty Dawson and Shannon McDonnell have been called up for the game after recovering from injury.Morgan Knowles, Theo Fages and Greg Richards all miss out.Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Lama Tasi, 16. Andre Savelio, 17. Luke Thompson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Joe Greenwood, 21. Matty Dawson, 22. Jack Owens, 23. Shannon McDonnell.Willie Poching, Hull KR’s caretaker coach, will choose from an unchanged squad:1. Ken Sio, 3. Liam Salter, 4. Iain Thornley, 5. Kieran Dixon, 7. Albert Kelly, 8. Adam Walker, 10. Mitch Allgood, 11. Maurice Blair, 12. Graeme Horne, 13. Chris Clarkson, 16. James Green, 17. Dane Tilse, 18. Ben Cockayne, 20. James Greenwood, 21. Thomas Minns, 23. Ryan Shaw, 24. George Lawler, 25. Stephen Holker, 26. Robbie Mulhern.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Phil Bentham.Ticket details for the game can be found here.Tickets for the games against Castleford, Wakefield and Wigan (ALL TICKET) are now on sale.You can buy from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

911 memorial observances around our area

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Monday marks 16 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four passenger planes. Two planes crashed into New York’s World Trade Center. A third plane slammed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.- Advertisement – Nearly 3,000 people were killed.This day is now known as Patriot’s Day and there are some local services around our area for you to attend.At 8:15 a.m., Camp Lejeune is holding it’s annual observance at the 9/11 Memorial at Jacksonville City Hall.Related Article: Pentagon identifies 3 servicemen killed in AfghanistanAt 9 a.m. in Hampstead, there will be a 9/11 service at Barlow Vista Baptist Church (22340 US Hwy. 17). It’s presented by the church, American Legion 167 and Woodmen Life.Around the country, a remembrance ceremony will be held at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York. In Washington D.C., President Donald Trump will lead a moment of silence at the White House and attend a ceremony at the Pentagon. Vice President Mike Pence will attend a memorial in Pennsylvania.last_img read more

Moms Demand Action meet in Wilmington as group gains interest statewide

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)  –  A group that lobbies for reform and safer gun laws is growing across the state. That was the reason Moms Demand Action held an information meeting tonight in Wilmington.Moms Demand Action leaders say people have grown interest in the grassroots group in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.- Advertisement – Local members say the group actively takes part in anti-violence events around the city.Thursday, Jessica Hulick with the state chapter asked how many attendees were first time visitors to the group meeting, nearly half of the people in the room raised their hands.Statewide, the group has seen the number of chapters increase three-fold since the school shooting.Related Article: Florida governor signs bill allowing more armed teachers“I have added fifty new leaders just within the last month,” said Hulick. “These are moms, working moms, stay at home moms, and dads too who have just had enough and want to change the way that our children are feeling about gun violence.”The group plans to take part in the “March for Our Lives” event set for March 24th.last_img read more

Familys home a total loss after blaze in Sunset Harbor

first_img Sunset Harbor Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rob Johnson says a passerby reported the fire around 10:15 p.m.When firefighters arrived, the doublewide was engulfed with flames.The homeowner and his kids were not home at the time.Related Article: Crews respond to van, house fire in WilmingtonFire crews say the home is a total loss.About 20 firefighters from Sunset Harbor, St. James, and Supply Volunteer fire departments responded. SUNSET HARBOR, NC (WWAY) — Investigators are trying to determine what caused a fire that destroyed a mobile home in Brunswick County Thursday night.The fire happened at 2854 Cox Landing Road in Sunset Harbor.- Advertisement – last_img

FBI discusses efforts to combat opioid abuse and sextortion

first_img Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Stanley Meador is based in the FBI’s Wilmington office. He says there is a very big problem with opioid abuse across the Cape Fear region.“One thing the FBI has done in partnership with local law enforcement agencies is that we have met with them to get a full assessment of the severity of the problem and it is severe,” Meador said.That’s why the FBI took the initiative to help form a task force designed to combat the opioid crisis.Related Article: FBI joins massive search for 6-year-old North Carolina boy with autismShelley Lynch, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Charlotte Division, says at the federal level they are focused on three primary areas: prevention, enforcement and treatment. She says the FBI is specifically involved in the first two areas.“Several years ago, the FBI created a documentary called Chasing the Dragon,” Lynch said. “It was a partnership with the DEA where we were really trying to get a raw look at how opioid addiction is impacting well people and addicts.”The addicts featured in the film wanted others to better understand how the abuse impacts them everyday.From a federal law enforcement perspective, Meador said the FBI’s efforts are making a difference.“I think if you look back in just the last 12 months, you will find that we have sought to target the largest dealers that we could identify and get them into federal court,” he said.During the last year, Meador said the FBI has sentenced 10 major dealers with pretty significant sentences.If you or someone you know is abusing opiods, the FBI recommends calling a local agency that offers treatment.“There are many different agencies in the New Hanover County area helping with substance abuse and getting people the help they need,” and Lynch added, “Going through their local law enforcement and substance abuse areas would be the first step.”In addition to the opioid crisis, another major focus area for the FBI involves ‘sextortion,’ an enticement in which children and teens are victimized by online predators.“Children who are online on different social media sites think they may be talking to another child when in reality it is an adult with a fake profile who is trying to get that child to send them inappropriate photos,” and Lynch added, “If the child at some point determines they don’t feel comfortable with that and doesn’t want to send them, then that person threatens to release those photos to their family and friends to embarrass them.”As a result, many teens fall into a continuing cycle of providing inappropriate photos of themselves as a result of being intimidated by the online predator.With the summer break upon us and children spending more unsupervised parental time at home or alone, the FBI offers this warning for parents.“The number one thing we are asking parents to have is an honest conversation with their children,” Meador said.He says its important to remind children and teens the person they’re communicating with online may not be who they claim to be.“Make sure privacy settings are set appropriately on the devices they’re using,” he added.It’s also imperative for parents to know passwords for each of their children’s electronic devices.“Do spot checks occasionally to see what they are downloading and what they’re uploading,” Meador advised.The FBI offers these reminders to protect yourself and others against sextortion:Make children aware that anything done online may be available to others.Make sure apps and privacy settings are set to the strictest level possible.Parents should review and approve apps and monitor activity on all devices.Regularly go through “friends” and “followers” list and delete anyone your child has not met in person.Anyone who asks a child to engage in sexually explicit activity online should be reported to a parent, guardian, or law enforcement immediately.You can find more resources at FBI.gov. To report suspected sextortion crimes, call your local FBI office or 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). FBI discusses efforts to combat opioid abuse and ’sextortion’ 00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not found spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreen shift + ←→slower / faster (latest Chrome and Safari) ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12…6 seek to 10%, 20%, …60% WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Opioid abuse is a major problem that rips apart families and destroys communities.According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, from 1991 to 2016, more than 12,000 in the state died from opioid-related overdoses.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Stolen guns drugs found during search of Bladen home

first_imgHe’s charged with the following:Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver MarijuanaPossession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver CocaineFelony Possession of CocaineFelony Possession of Marijuana2 counts of Maintaining a Vehicle for the Purpose of Keeping or Selling Controlled SubstancesMaintaining a Dwelling for the Purpose of Keeping or Selling Controlled Substances2 counts of Possession of a Stolen Firearm4 counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted FelonPossession of Non-tax paid Alcoholic Beverages2 counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia“My investigators are making a concerted effort to visit every known drug dealer in Bladen County in the weeks and months ahead,” McVicker said in a news release. “It is our goal to put as many of them out of business as we can.”Related Article: Court: Online free speech rights trump stalking convictionMcKoy is being held under a $705,000 bond. Tony McKoy (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff’s Office) BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Stolen weapons, cocaine, marijuana and even two cars seized when the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office searched a home in the Lisbon area.According to a news release, Narcotics and Criminal Investigators along with a member of the K-9 Unit searched a home in the 6700 block of Airport Road.- Advertisement – They arrested Tony Maurice McKoy, 39. Tony McKoy (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff’s Office)center_img Investigators search home on Airport Road in Bladen County on July 19, 2018 (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff’s Office) 1 of 2last_img read more

Settlement reached over pollution at International Paper

first_imgRIEGELWOOD, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Honeywell International Inc., and International Paper Co., for cleanup of contaminated soils and sediments at the LCP-Holtrachem plant in Riegelwood.The United States brought its action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the Superfund Law, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).- Advertisement – The LCP-Holtrachem Superfund Site  is about 24 acres adjacent to the Cape Fear River at 636 John Riegel Road. From 1963 to 2000, the LCP-Holtrachem plant made chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, liquid chlorine, hydrogen gas, liquid bleach and hydrochloric acid using a mercury cell process.According to the complaint, filed simultaneously with the settlement Thursday in the Eastern District of North Carolina, the two companies are liable for historic industrial discharges of metals, including mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the Site.“This settlement incisively corrects historic environmental issues impinging on the Cape Fear River,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with its partners at EPA to ensure that companies are held accountable for past environmental damage as required by CERCLA.”Related Article: Florida man charged in bomb-package scare has NC ties“Environmental law violations will be vigorously pursued by our office through civil and other enforcement tools, in coordination with our partners at the EPA and U. S. Department of Justice,” said United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. of the Eastern District of North Carolina.  “The required full remediation, along with repayment of all EPA response costs, sends a message to polluters that violators will be held accountable for restoring our beautiful rivers and land here in North Carolina.”Under the proposed settlement, Honeywell and International Paper will address contaminated soils and sediments through a combination of in-situ treatment, on-site storage, and off-site treatment and disposal. The two companies will also reimburse the United States for all past and future costs associated with the cleanup. In exchange, the two companies will receive a covenant not to sue and protection from suit by third parties.The two companies previously performed investigations and preliminary cleanup work under prior agreements with EPA.“The environmental benefits that will result from today’s settlement are a win for the communities near this Superfund site,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Mary S. Walker. “This agreement demonstrates EPA’s commitment to hold companies responsible for contamination they caused.”EPA uses the Superfund Alternative Approach (SAA) for the Site, so it has not been proposed for addition to the National Priorities List (NPL).  Under the SAA, EPA uses the same investigation and cleanup process and standards it uses for NPL sites, and saves the time and resources associated with NPL listing.Honeywell is the current owner of the Site. The Site is contiguous to about 1,300 acres of land owned by International Paper. Since 1951, International Paper has operated a bleached kraft paper mill there, which manufactures paperboard from wood fiber. International Paper used many of the chemicals manufactured at the LCP-Holtrachem plant. Hazardous substances from the LCP-Holtrachem plant were disposed of at the International Paper property and are being addressed under the settlement.The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final approval by the court.  A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice web site at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html. Additionally, EPA will hold a public meeting in Riegelwood during the public comment process.last_img read more

13 police stations have specific rooms for domestic violence

first_imgVarious police stations around Malta and Gozo have specific rooms designated for cases related to domestic violence. Minister Michael Farrugia said this whilst replying to a parliamentary question set by PN MP Claudette Buttigieg.The Minister also added that the police stations which have designated rooms are those in Valletta, Qormi, Żebbuġ, Ħamrun, Paola, Żejtun, Żurrieq, Sliema, Birkirkara. Mosta, Naxxar, Qawra, and Victoria, Gozo. The rooms allow victims or witnesses in cases related to domestic violence may be able to communicate in private.During 2018 there were 1,341 reports of domestic violence. In 2010, the amount of reports totalled 700.In 2017, the European Union signed the Istanbul Convention which provides for action against violence against women and domestic violence. This convention provides for specific environments called soft areas wherein victims and witnesses of domestic violence may communicate in private.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Two arrested for possession of Cannabis and Cocaine

first_imgA man and a women were separately arrested yesterday as they were caught in possession of cocaine and cannabis in Ħamrun and in Xagħra respectively. Their hearing is scheduled for today.The arrests were handled by the Drug Squad in both localities.The female aggressor, who was arrested in Ħamrun, is 43 years old and resides in Valletta. She was found in possession of cocaine and cannabis. However, the amount seized suggests that it was not for personal use.The man, who is 29 years old and lives in Xagħra, was arrested at Mġarr, Gozo; after being caught possessing cocaine with the intention of trafficking it.Police investigations are currently ongoing, and the accused are expected to be taken to court separately in the upcoming hours.Read: Student caught red-handed with drugs in schoolWhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Over 12000 people visit Nature reserves in 8 months

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Credit: BirdlifeCredit: Birdlife Birdlife’s Nature Reserves saw an increase of nearly 2,000 visitors for a record number of more than 12,030 people in the past eight months.The reserves are ecologically important areas in which biodiversity and nature are given priority, and they are primarily meant to provide shelter and rest to migratory birds.Birdlife plans that it will continue upgrading with new information panels planned for visitors, as well within the wetland areas to create new areas for feeding and sheltering for migratory birds.Credit BirdlifeThe past season was a particularly busy one for BirdLife Malta’s reserves, with visits from 4,813 students, a large number of private and public events, and the introduction of new extended opening hours.Read: Watch: 200 Girl Guides welcomed at BirdLife Malta’s nature reservesFurthermore, this year the reserves will be reopening to the public with the existing schedule earlier than usual, at the beginning of September, instead of November.As from the beginning of September, Għadira Nature Reserve and Simar Nature Reserve will reopen, while Foresta 2000 is open all year round and is accessible 24 hours a day. Salina Nature Reserve is open for visits on all days with visitors able to walk through part of the park freely between Monday and Sunday. In addition the visitors’ centre at the reserve will remain open in summer from 8:00am to 12:00pm Monday to Friday.Entry to all the reserves will remain free of charge and no booking is needed to visit.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

India limits texts to 100 per day in a bid to reduce

first_imgAdvertisement On doing so, they will be assigned a short code that they have to use in pursuing their promotion strategies.Fixed line and mobile phone subscribers in India who hadn’t previously registered with the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC), which was a rather unsuccessful predecessor to the NCPR, can do so now by sending a toll-free text message or call to the number 1909. They can opt to sign out of all telemarketing communications or choose to opt in to one or more of the following categories: automobiles, banking and financial products, communication and entertainment, consumer goods, education, real estate, and tourism and leisure.Telemarketers are also barred from sending out any calls or text messages between 9:00 PM and 9:00 AM. Those found in violation of the guidelines above will find themselves on the receiving end of heavy fines and may even end up being barred from the telecom networks. Consumers will have the option to report any unsolicited calls they receive to the TRAI through the number 1909. – Advertisement – The only point of contention in the new program is its requirement that all telecom carriers in the country impose a limit of 100 outgoing text messages per day on every prepaid SIM card in use in India and 3,000 messages per month on postpaid connections. The TRAI wants to do this to prevent non-registered telemarketers from flouting the new regulations and harassing consumers with a relentless stream of promotional text messages, but the texting-obsessed youth and the telecom carriers in India are understandably perturbed by this requirement.The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) opposed this decision by the TRAI on the grounds that it violates the fundamental rights of mobile phone subscribers in India. Furthermore, it expressed concern that users may be prevented from being able to send emergency communication via text message after the implementation of this limit.The TRAI, in clarifying the limitations it is imposing, said that they would not apply to dealers of telecom operators, e-ticketing agencies and social networking sites, which use text messages to send important information to their customers and users. Such entities are also permitted to send texts to subscribers registered with the NCPR, along with transactional texts sent by banks and other financial institutions and shopping destinations.The TRAI also said that it would re-evaluate its position on the maximum limit of text messages in the future, but is so far unwilling to remove that restriction. Hopefully, the NCPR program and the TRAI’s renewed enthusiasm for bringing under control the proliferation of uninvited calls and text messages will bring some relief to telephone subscribers in IndiaSource: Thenextweb newslast_img read more

Kenya Internet use affects Posta Kenya

first_imgAdvertisement About 23.5 million letters were delivered in the three months to June, a pointer to the deterioration of PCK’s business that is compounded by the influx of private courier firms such as Roy Parcels, Nation Media Group, and security firm G4S.The decline could be attributed to the increasing preference in the use of Internet compared to letters; and thus stiff competition from the telecom operators,” said the CCK in the report.For instance, during the period under review, SMS increased significantly, an indication that the service could have consumed some of the traffic on local letters sent, added CCK. – Advertisement – The mobile telephony subscribers sent one billion short messages in the quarter, reflecting a growth of 53 per cent over the past year.Internet popularity is hinged on the low cost of transaction, safety, and speed where clients are assured of near instant deliveries.As a result, instant messaging and e-mails have reduced the need for letter writing, denting PCK’s revenues as more Kenyans turn to mobile phone-based platforms and desk top computers to send money and information.Courier companies sent 428, 211 items in the three months to March compared to 385, 914 items in the quarter to December.The dwindling revenues have seen PCK turn to cost cutting drives, including layoffs, and selling assets to remain afloat.International outgoing letters dropped to 1.7 million from 2.2 million while incoming increased 68.6 per cent to 135,212. Source: businessdailyafrica.comlast_img read more

The HTC One M9 Is A Must Have Smartphone

first_imgAdvertisement HTC lifted the lid on its next flagship smartphone – the HTC One M9, so we spent a little time with the device to see how fared at a first pass.As a fan of the One M7 and M8, it’s nice to see that HTC has kept the same approach with its latest model, and it’s even more pleasing that it ditched the additional spacial sensor and rear-facing UltraPixel camera, which I found always produced variable results. – Advertisement – The downside, however, is that the device doesn’t look quite as sleek as its predecessors. It certainly still screams ‘premium’ though, so this is pretty much haggling over minor differences. From the short time we used the handset, it seemed snappy and responsive – as you’d expect with a top-of-the-range smartphone.The H9 also comes with 100GB of Google Drive storage included, which should help with all your media storage.The screen is a full HD affair and (as with previous versions) was highly impressive – bright, crisp and showing a wide range of colors accurately.In terms of camera capacities, while we can’t vouch for image quality without a proper test – we found it was impressively quick to snap a picture. There’s no pressing of the shutter button and waiting for the image to be captured.Some of the nicest touches on the One M9 come in its Lollipop-based, Sense 7-equipped OS. New features like BoomSound Connect promise to make better use of the HTC’s audio capabilities and its new OneGallery photo feature seems like a logical solution to keeping access to all your pictures stored across different services without taking up unnecessary room on your device.What it’s like to live with day-in, day-out or how it will measure up to the yet-to-be-announced competition at MWC remains to be seen, but keep an eye out for our full review in the near future. First impressions are good though.Credits: TNWlast_img read more

Woman livestreams her drunk driving on Periscope gets arrested

first_imgAdvertisement A woman who decided to livestream her drunk driving  ended up behind the coolers!Whitney Beall, aged 23, decided to film herself driving and post the footage to the livestreaming app Periscope. This live show was noticed by a few people whose reaction was to call 911.One police officer decided to download Periscope to try to glean as much information as possible. – Advertisement – Sgt. Gary Gross of the Lakeland Police Department told me that it took 20 minutes from when the first 911 alert was received for the police to track Beall down.He said that they followed her from “landmarks from her Periscope as she moved it around, such as shopping centers and buildings.”The police finally caught up with her, and they say she appeared “highly intoxicated.” Police say she failed the field sobriety tests. She was bonded out the next day, has been charged with DUI.Via Cnetlast_img read more

ShowMax with Chromecast for a smart TV experience

first_imgAdvertisement ShowMax, Naspers’ streaming video-on-demand (VOD) offering, has added new functionality to its Android app that makes it possible to broadcast TV shows and movies directly from smartphones and tablets to big-screen TVs.It’s an ideal solution for anyone who doesn’t have a smart TV but still wants to watch ShowMax on a big screen.Chromecast is a media streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port present on most big-screen TVs. Chromecast is one of a number of different devices that effectively turn normal TVs into smart TVs. – Advertisement – By enabling Chromecast support on the ShowMax app, owners of Android smartphones and tablets can ‘cast’ ShowMax TV shows and movies via Wifi to the Chromecast player which in turn seamlessly displays the same content on the big-screen TV.Mike Raath, chief technology officer for ShowMax said: “There are times that all we want to do is sit back on the couch and take in a good movie.”“With this new functionality it’s as simple as finding the show on your Android smartphone or tablet and pressing play – it’ll be on the TV instantly, ” he added.This is the third new viewing option that has been added in recent weeks. Having launched on Apple TV and adding AirPlay support to our app for iPhones and iPads in early March, and there’s more to come. One way or the other, we aim to have a solution for anyone wanting to watch ShowMax using whichever device is most convenient.In order to access this new Chromecast functionality on smartphones and tablets, the devices need to be running Android 4.1.0 (Jelly Bean) or higher and the latest version of the ShowMax Android app.last_img read more